Bangladesh hangs another Islamic Jamaat party leader
by Sumon Corraya

Mir Quasem Ali was the main financier of the political movement. The Tribunal for war crimes confirmed 10 charges of 14 against him. He was among the collaborators who supported Pakistani soldiers in the conflict for the liberation of Bangladesh.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - The Bangladeshi authorities have executed by hanging another leader of the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami, whose members in the past have been targeted by the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The condemned man, Mir Quasem Ali, was found guilty of war crimes against civilians during the war for liberation from Pakistan in 1971.

The sentence was carried out in the late evening of Saturday 3 September. Previously Quasem, 64, a very famous tycoon and the main financier of his party, was able to meet his family in the central prison Kashimpur in Gazipur, near Dhaka for the last time. After the hanging, his coffin was transported to the home village of Manikganj, where he was buried in the family tomb.

The Islamic leader was found guilty of 10 counts of indictment, out of a total of 14. In particular, he was sentenced to death for torturing and killing a teenager who was fighting for the liberation of Bangladesh and for killing seven others abducted in Chittagong.

He was among the prominent members of the pro-Pakistan militia al-Badr, guilty of war crimes by working with the Pakistani army during the conflict that led to the independence of the country. According to government sources, in 1971, Pakistani soldiers, aided by collaborators, killed three million people and raped about 200 thousand women.

In 2014 the International Criminal Court, a special judicial body created by the current Prime Minister Hasina to punish war criminals, sentenced him to death. Despite Quasem having invested millions of dollars on commercials and funding for schools, hospitals and media to avoid condemnation, last week the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence on appeal.

The Islamic leader is the fifth leading exponent of the Jamaat-e-Islami condemned to death since 2010, when Hasina took power. Before his, the killing that caused most uproar was that of leader of the party, Motiur Rahman Nizami, whose funeral was attended by thousands of people.